Minutes of PTA meeting, 5.23.11, 6pm
Principal Artie Mattia:
• ELA and math testing are over for the year. The only test still to be administered is the 4th-grade science test, on June 6.
• May 31–June 3 will be the 4th-grade science performance test.
• The ELA and math exams were more difficult this year than last. Students who scored a 2, 3 or 4 on the tests have met promotional criteria; children who scored a 1 have not. We will soon receive notification of who did and did not pass for the purposes of promotion, but we won’t have the actual scores until right before school resumes in the fall.
• July 6–August 15 are the dates for summer school (yes, the last day is a Monday!).
• The plans for a new playground have been approved, but the project is on hold until next year.
• Our proposal for a school expansion (to go up through the 8th grade) has been approved for consideration. The next phase is a detailed application, to be followed by an interview process. The sticking point will be where to find space for the additional classes.
Parent Coordinator Roxanna Velandria:
• Transition meetings are being held this week. See the website (www.ps372.org) for the exact dates.
UFT Representative Steve Quester:
• The teachers’ union is battling the mayor’s office on teacher layoffs and other issues. The mayor seeks to end the seniority system now in place. The UFT supports rigorous teacher evaluation and is working to develop a new evaluation system.
• The UFT is also fighting a move to introduce testing in kindergarten and 1st and 2nd grades.
PTA President Alison Bowers:
• The book fair is on today and tomorrow. Please send money with your children if you want them to be able to purchase books when their classes visit the fair.
• School elections are complete.
• This Friday, May 27, is the last official Pizza Friday of the year. However, on June 3 there will be a makeup Pizza Friday for 4th grade only, and on June 10 there will be a makeup for all Pizza Friday kids.
• Parents of kids entering 1st, 3rd and 5th grades can purchase next year’s school supplies online.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio:
• The battle to stop teacher layoffs is a winnable one but will require passion and energy from parents. The layoffs of 6,000 teachers (actually, it would be about 4,500 layoffs and 1,500 jobs lost by attrition) proposed by Mayor Bloomberg would be the largest loss of teachers since the 1970s fiscal crisis, when 10,000 teachers were laid off.
• The economy has been improving and revenues have been rising, albeit slowly, and there actually is sufficient money to retain our teachers. Bloomberg has tied the issue of teacher seniority to that of layoffs, but the two must be delinked and dealt with separately.
• This is a classic community organizing opportunity. We — especially parents — have to mobilize to stop the layoffs. Thursday, May 26, is a Day of Action, when we all must flood the phone lines of the mayor (311) and the city council with our opinions. Our resignation and inaction are taken by City Hall as assent, but our intensity and passion can change things.
• The budget will not be finalized for four weeks, so there is time to effect change. Go to www.parentsforteachers.com or advocate.nyc.gov for more information and to read about other ways to help.